Netflix suspends House of Cards amid sexual misconduct allegations against Kevin Spacey
Netflix has suspended production of House of Cards in the wake of the show’s star Kevin Spacey being accused of sexual misconduct.
House of Cards star Kevin Spacey yesterday came out as a gay man following allegations that he made sexual advances on a teenage boy in 1986.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Star Trek star Anthony Rapp, now aged 46, claimed that when he was a 14-year-old, Spacey invited him to a party at his New York apartment, and while drunk, tried to seduce him by climbing on top of him. Rapp claimed that he managed to flee before the encounter progressed any further.
Spacey said he doesn’t remember the incident over 30 years ago, but apologised for the “deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour.”
Responding to the incident, Netflix said executives were meeting with cast and crew and that they had removed Spacey from filming.
Then today Netflix and Media Rights Capital (MRC) issued a joint statement saying production of the show had been suspended.
The companies said they would review the situation with Spacey and had suspended production of the sixth season of the show.
“MRC and Netflix have decided to suspend production on ‘House of Cards’ season six, until further notice, to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew,” the statement read.
A representative for Netflix also told The Telegraph on Monday: “Media Rights Capital and Netflix are deeply troubled by last night’s news concerning Kevin Spacey.
“In response to last night’s revelations, executives from both of our companies arrived in Baltimore this afternoon to meet with our cast and crew to ensure that they continue to feel safe and supported. As previously scheduled, Kevin Spacey is not working on set at this time.”
The show’s creator Beau Willimon also released a statement supporting Rapp.
The statement reads: “Anthony Rapp’s story is deeply troubling. During the time I worked with Kevin Spacey on House of Cards, I neither witnessed nor was aware of any inappropriate behavior on set or off.
“That said, I take reports of such behaviour seriously and this is no exception. I feel for Mr Rapp and I support his courage.”
RELATED: People are furious with Kevin Spacey for coming out as gay in response to sexual misconduct allegations
House of Cards is the first show starring Spacey to be cancelled amid the controversy.
He has several other projects in the works including in post-production.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Spacey said he was “sorry for the feelings he [Rapp] describes having carried with him all these years” and said that he wanted to deal with the allegations honestly.
“As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women.”
Spacey added: “I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this openly and honestly and that starts with examining my own behaviour.”
In the interview with BuzzFeed, Rapp described being in a party at Spacey’s home: “My memory was that I thought, Oh, everybody’s gone. Well, yeah, I should probably go home.” He said that Spacey was “sort of stood in the doorway, kind of swaying. My impression when he came in the room was that he was drunk…He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then he lays down on top of me.”
“He was trying to seduce me,” Rapp added. “I don’t know if I would have used that language. But I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually.”
Rapp said he was able to “squirm” away from Spacey after a short period.
After pushing Spacey off him, Rapp told the online publication that he was able to escape to a nearby bathroom and close the door. “I was like, ‘What is happening?’
“I saw on the counter next to the sink a picture of him having his arm around a man. So I think on some level I was like, ‘Oh. He’s gay’. I guess. Then I opened the door, and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to go home now.’
“He followed me to the front door of the apartment, and as I opened the door to leave, he was leaning on the front door[frame]. And he was like, ‘Are you sure you wanna go?’ I said, ‘Yes, good night,’ and then I did leave.”
For many years, Spacey’s sexuality has been discussed and speculated on, while he has remained coy about his gay relationships.
In 2010, Spacey compared the intrigue into his personal life to the bullying of gay teenagers: “I think what we have seen in terms of gay teenagers committing suicide because of bullying is anguishing.
“I think young people, if they are feeling like they are confused, need to know that there are people to talk to and that there are places they can go and not feel alone.”
Spacey added: “But I feel that they have just as many rights as I do to not be bullied. And I don’t understand people who say, ‘Well, this is a terrible thing that is happening to this young person whose life is being exposed,’ and then turn around and do it to another person.
“People have different reasons for the way they live their lives. You cannot put everyone’s reasons in the same box. It’s just a line I’ve never crossed and never will.”
Rapp plays the first openly gay character on Star Trek- starring as science officer and fungal researcher expert Lieutenant Stamets.
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When his role was announced, Rapp said: “It’s a little bit of a strange thing that there hasn’t been an openly gay character as part of it, so I’m really honoured and proud to get to carry that particular flag.
“The fact of my character’s sexual orientation is just a fact among many and is treated just as simply and straightforwardly as any other fact of the other characters.
“I’m really excited and happy when a gay character is a part of a story — especially when a gay character is created in a complex and human and non-stereotypical, interesting way, and that has certainly been the case with Stamets.”
The way in which Spacey came out – as he was apologising after allegations of sexual misconduct against a 14-year-old – has sparked a furious reaction from those in Hollywood and beyond.